Is there a choice to be had in this merry-go-round or is such volition actually a fiction? Time envelops us and seems to decide it all according to a rate of flow completely out of our hands. Our relationship to time appears to change with the shifting moods and states of emotion which define our experience. We are happy and absorbed intensely in one moment and it fleets on by. We fall into a canyon of boredom in the next and the seconds slow down to a pace which makes the moment a tedious chore. The rate is the same and yet our experience of it can change. As we grow older time itself begins to speed up indefinitely as the seasons rush in faster circles, leaving us to wonder where all the years are going in such a hurry. Time is truly the prime mover and shaker of this reality.
We believe we can do things, and yet the events of our life can be seen as one domino teetering to the floor by way of the one before and after it. The last domino is caught in a string of events having begun from the first. As one of my favourite writers described it: first a tree falls and creates the first bridge. Then we build and build, refining and tweaking the concept and its applications, until great steel connectors are built as marvelous designs, permitting large volumes of us humans to tread onto places and sights which would have been otherwise impossible. The architects, builders and city rulers all take credit for the work and yet from a certain point of view — behind the veil of time — it can be seen as an inevitable event connecting back to that first domino, the tree which had fallen down.
If a magnifying glass were made to stretch out the cloth of time, the details would be seen and an individual’s thoughts and emotions would be revealed. Speed up time and those moments of seeming volition, discretion and the will to decide between allegedly available options, would disappear. Only the dominoes would be seen at this level and, yet, you have to wonder if choices are real in themselves, or if they are simply details which are arbitrary and irrelevant to the outcomes which are brought about. Think of the momentum which rushes from one point in time to the next, and all of the events which come together, merging and weaving, and giving birth to more and more events. A man comes to a fork on the road and believes he is making a decision. Speed up your perception of time and it was not he who made the decision; it was the gravity of momentum pushing on his buttons to make him act as was always inevitable, expected and planned for him given the circumstances.
Choice doesn’t seem to be a real thing. It is more like a concept which has been accepted as true. There are thoughts in our minds which grant us inner perceptions and the ability to conceive in artistic and scientific ways, but how we act given a situation appears to be a predestined rolling over of one domino and event to the next series, ad infinitum, connecting the alpha and omega face of time and reality. A question arises on whether it is even important whether there be a choice afforded to us mortals as a device to play with and make our lives worthy of living. Yet simply to be here, and to be endowed with the ability to perceive and be conscious to some degree or another, is quite a miracle given the alternative of utter nonexistence. Perhaps it is more a matter of our expectations having grown from a humble degree in some far off beginning to the rather grandiose size it is today.